“Will someone get that, please?” I shout.
The phone is ringing and as usual, I am otherwise occupied. This time my arms are full of laundry that requires immediate hanging so that I am not forced to iron any of it (and there is no way I’m going there). Not only does that phone continue to ring, but I hear no signs of intelligent life – or otherwise – attempting to retrieve it.
“Is someone going to get that phone?” I bellow, a little more loudly this time.
I race up the rest of the stairs, taking two at a time (no small feat balancing a laundry basket on my hip), and sprint into my bedroom, drop my basket of fresh laundry and pick up my bedside phone that is buried beneath piles of overdue library books.
“Hello?” I pant into the receiver.
I am one ringy-dingy too late.
So laundry now folded, I traipse back down the stairs to speak to my beloved children. It astonishes me that I can ask the same question over and over again – “Did you not hear that phone ringing?” – and actually expect an answer other than “Nope”.
Bless their dear little hearts, my children are intelligent creatures and occasionally reply with “… I couldn’t find it …” – that would be the popcorn-encrusted cordless phone that is buried somewhere in the couch. Or better yet, “I didn’t know the number …” – which really means – “… anyone important will text me.”
“Hi Sweetie, so you’re home from school?”
“You forgot to call me to let me know.”
“Did you let the dogs out?”
“Did you do your homework?”
“Have you practiced your piano?”
“Are you in the middle of a riveting episode of Suite Life on Deck?”
“Would you like boiled turnips with sautéed worms for dinner, tonight?”
I’m beginning to wonder why we even have a home phone, other than for my underprivileged cell phone-deprived 11-year old daughter who still finds the phone somewhat essential in catching up on all the latest middle school news that has taken place in the 7 minutes it took her to walk from the school bus to our home.
We have four cell phones in this family and of course one has been promised to my daughter for her 13th birthday. I am giving some serious thought to eliminating our land line service altogether, though I know we do still need it right now for 9-1-1 emergency service. Between basic service, voice mail, caller ID and call waiting, the fees sure do add up on our monthly phone bill. I’m certain the cost of our land line would more than pay for my daughter to have a cell phone of her own (but PLEASE don’t tell her that, I BEG of you).
So once again the phone is ringing and once again, no one is making a move. My son catches my one eyebrow raised* glaring.
“You’re closer!” he protests, and I’m momentarily satisfied, for at least it confirms to me there is nothing wrong with his hearing. And I confess; I am closer.
“Hello?” I say, with cheer.
“Am I speaking to a member of this household who is over the age of 18?”
“No, I’m sorry. There is no one in this household by that name; you must have the wrong number!”